BEIJING -- China's gold output in the first quarter rose by 3.25 tons, or 4.63 percent, over a year earlier to 73.41 tons, according to figures released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Friday.
Of the country's total output, 82 percent, or 60.26 tons, came from its gold mines in January-March, up 5.18 percent year-on-year, according to MIIT data.
Non-ferrous mines contributed the remaining 13.15 tons of gold output during the period. The figure shows a year-on-year increase of 2.21 in the same sectors as last year.
China became the world's largest gold producer in 2007. Its gold output reached 340.876 tons in 2010.
Also a major gold consumer, China posted cumulative gold demand totaling more than 14 billion U.S. dollars in 2009, accounting for about 11 percent of the world's total, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).
A report on global gold demand in the first quarter by WGC on Thursday showed that worldwide gold demand in the first quarter of 2011 totalled 981.3 tons, up 11 percent year-on-year.
The global gold supply declined by 4 percent year-on-year to 872.2 tons due to a sharp increase in net purchasing by central banks and a fall in the supply of recycled gold, which has fallen 6 percent from the previous year to 347.5 tons, WGC said.